Notes on Living Outside Cultural Norms. Corporate etiquette & Personal hygiene.

April 22nd, 2014, 9pm

Time is money.1

The onsen shuts at 10pm.
It’s almost nine — lingering work-dinner, trapped, no obvious exits.
How long is long enough to fulfil my responsibilities before I can leave?

Not wanting to be rude or seem ungrateful —don’t get me wrong, happy to be there— but if I don’t escape soon I’m going to miss bath time. Yes that’s right, bath time. I give up having a bathroom, or more accurately rejected my whole apartment over a year ago.2 The simple fact of not owning a bathroom forcing the question: How to balance relationships between personal and work responsibilities? On this occasion, splitting time equally; imagined fear/embarrassment far greater than reality. Obtaining the courage I excuse myself with a polite explanation. Out. Shortly after unwinding in warms waters; relaxation, contemplation and priority reconfiguration. An experience in economy & boundaries, how much to give and how much to keep?

Time ≠ Money

But to tear down a factory or to revolt against a government or to avoid repair of a motorcycle because it is a system is to attack effects rather than causes; and as long as the attack is upon effects only, no change is possible. The true system, the real system, is our present construction of systematic thought itself, rationality itself, and if a factory is torn down but the rationality which produced it is left standing, then that rationality will simply produce another factory.3

  1. Benjamin Franklin, Advice to a Young Tradesman, 1748. 

  2. Notes on Living Outside Cultural Norms. New Habits, Old Habits. 

  3. Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, 1974 (William Morrow & Company ). 

Anne Marie and Charlie said thanks.

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James Gibson

Hungry & Footsore

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